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Function to produce blank value

Need to have a function, something like, Blank() to produce blank value.

Status: Completed

We've had a Blank() function for quite some time.  The ability to write blank/null values to databases was added with the experimental error handling feature which we will be turning on by default soon.  If there is anything more here that we haven't covered, please let me know.

Comments
Community Champion

Agree, and we need to be able to patch blank/null values back to data sources.

New Member

I need this ability immediately!!!

Community Champion

Hi @kklauder, please add your vote by clicking below the vote count...

Community Champion

As suggested by @v-micsh-msft I am posting a scenario where this is important.

 

I keep a table of financial instrument prices with data for every working day.  I need all the history for portfolio performance calculations.  It so happens that some financial instruments may not be traded on particular days, so that they do not have a price for that day.  What I do is to save a null value for that day so that my reporting application knows to look for the previous available value.  Zero would not help here since the price of a financial instrument (such as options) may really be zero at some point.  Repeating the previous value is also wrong since you need to know the date of the latest available valuation.

 

This could also be resolved by not having an entry for that particular day, but this is not robust, since I cannot know if the data retrieval system has failed or there really was no price for that day.

 

In any case, there really should be no question here, since I have so far not come across any database system that does not allow you to clear a field to null values.

 

Also, there should be a difference bewtween patching zero-length strings ("") and null values to text fields since they are treated differently, for example by Excel's Get & Transfrom (previously known as Power Query)  For example in a reply field a null value would mean that a reply has yet to be received and a zero-length string would mean that a no-comment reply has been received.

 

Many thanks

Power Automate
Status changed to: Under Review
 
Advocate II

This is in our bucket of PowerApps showstoppers.

New Member

agree ; NULL / Blanck() / Clear() is a basic function ; it's a must !

Thanks for your support

Advocate I
This will be a huge help! I'm trying to Patch NULL values for person and date fields in a SharePoint list. Would be great to do it for lookup columns as well.
Anonymous
Not applicable

I have situations where I need to patch NULL to a SQL database field. Having to work around this lack means adding overhead to my database like making a job to run a procedure to nullify a field. There are many situations where the value of a field should be NULL.

Advocate II

For crying out loud, when did a data system or app ever get delivered unable to have a null / blank / empty value written to its editable field values?

 

Probably the last time MS wrote a data-centric app before Flow, of course.

 

Implementing CRUD for valid data values is a basic requirement for a data system or app.

 

Quite pathetic.

 

I know why this happens.  It's becasue of Microsoft's slavish devotion to Agile / Scrum -  "If it ain't in the user story backlog, it's not coming in".

 

So if the users forget to ask for a delete function, the system or app doesn't get a delete function.

 

When is Microsoft going to realize there is a basic start template of "requirements that are so obvious they shouldn't need to be explicitly specificed by users" for every data system or app, like: -

 

CRUD

Security skinning

Deletion recovery

+ others

 

These should be there by default before any "user stories" are asked for.  They should only be removed by exception.